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October 2, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:01 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation friends! I love my Friday chats b/c so many of you show up with all the great questions for the weekend. Many, many already in queue...so here we go!

Mark (Pueblo, CO)

Stephania...please please update us on Clinton Portis! Is he going to play with those bone spur issues?? Thx!

Bryan (Ohio)

Whats the word on Willie Parker? Is he going to play Sunday and how serious is the injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Hi mark in Pueblo: First post gets a response! Yes, I believe he plays. Portis actually said that the ankles were feeling better this last week than in the first two weeks with the new treatment regimen he's on. He did suffer a calf contusion in last week's game which took him out of the game and has kept him out of practice this week to let that recover. I would expect that he does something today, but it sounds as if they expect him to play.

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Bryan: Sorry - out of order there. Willie Parker is looking less and less like he'll play with the turf toe. Earlier in the week he said he was feeling better, but you always feel better when you're not stressing the toe. And this problem always takes longer than people think. If Parker does not practice Friday, expect him to sit (and I think it's already leaning that way).

Dan (New York)

Marion Barber - - back full speed or will they ease him in?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Dan: I do think they play him. You can never tell a guy to go less than full speed, but the flip side is that guys rarely really test at "game speed" until they're in the game. The good news is that he participated in a full practice yesterday. Barring a setback between now and Sunday, I expect him to go - but I think the COwboys do want to ease his workload back so Choice gets significant touches.

Pete (Cleveland)

Good morning Stephania! I was unable to get Choice to backup Marion Barber, but I managed to snag Glen Coffee. If Barber plays, I'm assuming he'll be limited, splitting time with choice. Who's my 2nd RB behind Chris Johnson; Barber or Coffee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Pete: Since this follows the last post, I think with Barber untested and Coffee getting the workload against the Rams, I would go with Coffee.

Matt (Savannah, GA)

Good morning Stephania. Can you explain to me, what exactly is turf toe?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Matt: Yes - hyperextension of the big toe usually (or jamming toe into ground) - results in ligament and potentially capsular damage at the joint where the toe meets the forefoot (ball of the foot) - very painful every time a guy pushes off.Actually there is a video I did on the topic related to Parker - Countdown Daily on Steelers team page.

Matt (Chicago)

I've been waiting for this matchup for A. Bradshaw. Will getting less carries benefit his health? In other words, will he get the inevitable garbage time carries or will they go to the other vulture? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Matt: I'd be a little worried about Bradshaw's health right now. He did not practice Weds or Thursday and is not a sure thing for the game. Teh Giants are saying they expect him to go...but he's been in a boot and no running this week. If he doesn't practice Friday I'll be more concerned than Bradshaw appears to be right now.

Andy (Seattle)

Hi Stephania: Concerning Welker's knee, a beat writer in Boston said, "It will not surprise me if there comes a point at which Welker is shut down -- maybe around the bye -- with the thinking to have the knee cleaned out so he has a chance to return to full health." From a medical standpoint, does this make sense?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Andy: I have not seen this particular report - and I have heard some different rumors, but it's hard to make heads or tails out of it since the team is neither confirming or denying anything related to the injury. His very low activity in practice is definitely a concern. All we can say right now is that he is not looking at this point like he'll play.

Jimmy (NYC)

Starphania, what's the word on LT? If he plays will the Charges hold back the number of his carries or do you think he is ready for a full workload? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Jimmy: LT was very clear on not wanting to come back until he was 100% or very close to it. I exoect given his full practice this week and Norv Turner's comments that he will play and play a full workload.

George (Agusta)

What's the deal with Bowe? I was suprised by him last week, and there was no mention of him in your column. I'm hurting for WR's this week. If he's out I may have to make a bid on Garcon (my other option is Crayton).

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

George: Good point - but I had to post my column before KC THurs practice, so was holding off until Sat. Bowe has been dealing with a hamstring issue in the last week and the Chiefs indicated they wanted to be very cautious. Bowe did come back to limited practice Thursday after not practicing Weds. If his activity increases again today, then his chances of playing go up. I would still try to get Garcon if you can. He's a sure thing and emerging as a Manning target.

Eric (Shakopee)

Stephania, I have heard reports that Gore's injury could hold him out even longer than week 7. What is your take on the time frame for Gore?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Eric: I would not be at all surprised if that's the case. I think it's too early in the process to say for sure one way or the other, but because of the nature of the injury ( in the rearfoot), it's a tougher area to heal and may certainly go beyond the projected time.

Jordan (Oh)

Please Stephania-Will Lance Moore play? If not I may need to drop Chris Brown in order to pick up Davone Bess or Julian Edelman...Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Jordan: Moore is still limited by the hamstring and his status is uncertain for this week. I would go for Edelman - with Welker's status in the near future being uncertain, he's a nice option.

Brian (Boston)

Hi Stephania. Any word on Kevin Smith? Do you think he'll play, and if not, do you think it's a serious shoulder issue?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Brian: Lions not saying much - although Schwartz has acknowledged that Smith will be a gtd. He did some limited practice on Thursday and will probably be questionable.

Bryan (KS)

Will Dwight Freeney be ready to play on Sunday for Indy and if not do you think that has a big negative impact on their D?

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Bryan: I think he WANTS to play, but I doubt he'll be ready to go -and unless he does something today to show that his quad is really OK, I bet the team holds him out - and yes, especially with Sanders out I think it hurts their defense.

Mark (Virginia)

Can you recommend a good/reliable place to find active/inactive results for the four pm games? I love you guys on Fantasy Surround on ESPN, I watch it weekly and love the new expanded time. But you guys go off the air at one pm and some guys are still up in the air. Any ideas?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Mark: Thanks for asking -I'm sure there are others wondering the same thing. Our inactive list on the fantasy page on ESPN.com continues to update before the 4 pm games so I would go there.

Shawn (Orlando)

Stephania, I see that Randy Moss is "Q" at the moment, do you think that will change?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Shawn: I doubt it. He said his back was really bothering him after last week's game. They'll likely keep his practice activity light today as they really need him...meaning I don't think his questionable status changes, but I DO think he plays.

Jordan (Dallas, TX)

With Derrick Ward's knees so sore and Graham getting better, do you think Cadillac is well enough to tear it up this week against the under-performing Redskins defensive line?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Jordan: Let's put it this way. I do think Cadillac goes back to his starting role and has a chance to get the workload back we saw in the first two weeks.

Jon (Charlotte)

With Willie Parker likely out, is Mendenhall a good play? Or will he split time with Moore to the degree he's not worth picking up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Jon: Certainly what a lot of people want to know. Keep in mind Mendenhall was benched last week b/c of not knowing the offense well enough. It lit a spark under him and I think he's put his nose to the grindstone -- but it suggests they might lean on Moore.

Mike (PA)

Hi Stephania...is Greg Jennings wrist a problem? He's been almost non existent? Take away 2 long catches last week and I think he has 6 total catches on the year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Mike: After he said his wrist was no big deal, Jennings went on to have a no catch game. Then last week he ahd the 2 big catches but supposedly aggravated the wrist. He's been fully in practice and I think there's no way he's out Monday - and I don't see this as a long-term problem, but I do think it's been enough to get in the way the last two weeks. I would expect that trend to start reversing itself.

Josh (Indiana)

Are there any concerns with Matt Fotre's knee the weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Josh: Forte's knee was injured in last week's game but he was able to come back in - always a good sign. He also fully practiced yesterday -so as of now, it does not look to be a major factor and I would not be overly concerned...yet.

Andy (NH)

Hey Stephania! How's Antonio Bryant doing? Is he healthy enough to contribute this weekend or should I put someone like Torry Holt in for him? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

I think he's not quite past the knee, but is managing it, so to speak. He did play last week, although didn't do much, but I don't know that you can't attribute that to the TB offense as a whole. He was held out Weds, limited Thurs but I believe all of that is in an effort to get him on the field Sunday. I think he's healthy enough to contribute as a flex, but he's not up to full speed yet.

Joe (Bronx, NY)

Do you see Westbrook being better after the Eagles bye this week, or is he due to sit in "breakdown lane" on and off this whole season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Joe: Yes, and yes. I think the rest only helps him b/c of the chronic nature of his joint issues. But for the same reason he's susceptible to ups and downs throughout the season. The Eagles are clearly using him less than they have in the past b/c they have McCoy available - and I expect that pattern to continue.

RJ (Las Vegas)

What about Jamal Lewis? I think that Harrison is a decent flex option against the Bengals if Lews is out.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

RJ: Lewis still not doing anything in practice, just rode the stationary bike THursday. We know how these hamstrings can be tough to get back from, and that's what you're seeing here. I do think it looks like they will go to Harrison more than Davis and I agree with him as a decent flex option vs Cinci.

Matt (Charlotte, NC)

Hey Starphania... I've got a bench for of busted up guys... If you had to pick two, who would you go with? Bradshaw, Ward, Donald Brown, and Cadillac? Thanks...YOU ROCK!!!!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Matt: Donald Brown without question. His workload is just going to go up and he's been impressive so far. Then I'd be a little hedgy until Friday practice was over. If Bradshaw still does nothing, I go with Cadillac. If he's back fully, I might go with Bradshaw - although I think both have a decent matchup.

Scotty Mac (Seattle, WA)

I know this is the Eagles bye week, but I have a team that needs a replacement for Rivers next week. Who looks like the starter: Kolb or McNabb?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Scotty: MCNabb when the Eagles come back.

Steiny (NYC)

Kurt Warner's shoulder ok?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Steiny: Resting this week after it's been bugging him since the stinger in Week 1. Overall OK.

Bill (Saint Paul, MN)

Will A. Gonzalez be able to play after the Colts bye week? Will he be at 100% or will it take a few weeks after that?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Bill: Very hard to rpedict. If you look historically, PCL injuries are very tough to come back from and guys tend to struggle when they first return. Plus, I think Gonzalez had additional damage b/c originally they said "ligaments" making it a tougher recovery overall. I would plan on having him out a little longer.

Dennis (Minny)

I know this a dumb question to ask given the player, but Brett Favre is complaining about a minor foot injury and is limited in practice can you expand on the injuries and tell me if he plays on Monday (okay I am assuming he plays)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Dennis: Not a dumb question. Look, we all know his foot would have to be broken and in a cast for him not to play...and even then I'm not sure. But it is worth discussing whether he's at 100%. Sounds like his foot was just "sore" - at least that's what we're hearing - and he said he never felt as beat up after a game as he did last week - which is impressive given all his games, or maybe just a sign of his age. It may hamper his ability to escape a rush, but it won't keep him out.

Jim (Lawrence, KS)

Hi Stephania, do you think Hasselbeck will play this weekend and when he does come back do you think he can still be a stud or is a broken rib too much to fully recover from for someone his age?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Jim: Rock Chalk...No, Hasselbeck is not expected to play - but this is not the end of the world. It's just called managing your QB for a long season. We saw McNabb miss a couple games. I think Hasselbeck misses a couple -he still can't run b/c it still hurts to take a deep breath. Why push it for him now? So I think he'll be back next week and they'll be better off (as far as his health) for waiting.

Tom (Orange County)

Hi Stephania. Have you heard anything about an injury to Romo's Shoulder..something seems wrong with him and I am thinking of sitting him this week for Garrard...crazy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Tom: I suppose nothing is crazy...but I've heard nothing about an injury to Romo's shoulder.

Tony (Wilmington, NC)

I am heading out of town in a few minutes and need to set lineup...due to byes my WR#2 options are limited to Welker or Bryant? Who has best shot of playing?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Tony: Wow - bummer. But Bryant played last week and Welker still very sketchy.

Benny (NYC)

Is Todd Heap going to be ok this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Benny: Heap's back will likely be an ongoing issue this season - after all, it was a problem coming into the season. But he'll play barring something unusual between now and Sunday.

Fitz (Athens, GA)

Stephania - Considering his own injury problems, is Mike Bell worth keeping - even as insurance if Thomas were to get hurt again?Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Fitz: Yes - after all, look at how Thomas came back from a similar injury (perhaps even more severe) so Bell will be back, but the Saints saw from the Thomas expereince that it was wise to wait.

Jordan (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's the status of Jason Campbell with his balky ankle?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Jordan: He's not even on the injury report any more - so he's not missing any practice. He's playing.

Nathan (NYC)

Please help me Steph!...I have my basketball keeper draft coming out...would you take a chance on Arenas?...do you believe in him this year?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

OK Nathan: You talked me into it. I'm not sure I would. It's a risk reward issue. The word is that his knee is holding up fine so far, but he already has a finger injury. Just given his extensive history, you know that you are taking a gamble. I wouldn't - but I avoid guys with long injury histories.

Stephania Bell
  (12:07 PM)

OK - it's time for me to go. Thanks for stopping by the chat. As a reminder, I have a blog that comes out Saturday with the latest practice info and injury designations heading into the weekend. And remember - I'll give you all the updates, but YOU are the team owner who gets to make the decisions. Injuries are always about risk vs reward, and sometimes you decide to either go for or avoid the risk. It happens to me too when I play fantasy! That's what makes the games so great....